Hello good people, how are you today. It has been a cold week in the UK with snow flurries and freezing temperatures. However, I've had a couple of days off and have spent them at home, keeping warm and staying out of mischief.
The last couple of weeks have been exhausting, traipsing up and down to Manchester, and then being on call at the weekend, so this was a welcome respite.
I got the story of Li Chi, The Serpent Slayer from a website called Rejected Princesses, about "women too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids' movies". It celebrates women who are unbiddable. "Part art project, part standup routine, part book report, this site imagines what if we made animated musicals about the women of history and myth who refused to behave."
Li Chi was a teenager who, at the age of thirteen, volunteered to become a human sacrifice to a serpent who lived in the hills above her village. The serpent demanded a young girl to eat every year as a price for leaving the village alone for the rest of the year. She proceeded to slay the serpent and release the villagers from slavery with a little sword.
Do read the story on the website. Jason Porath writes well, with a lot of humour. I've only given you the bald outline of the story as I cannot improve on Jason's telling of it.
The cinnabar pendant came from China and has a serpent/dragon on it appearing to reach in to sniff the fragrance of a peony. The intricacy of the carving is beautiful and I added bone beads, hand carved into chrysanthemums, and bone discs dyed black, with characters etched into them. A few turquoise beads provide a pleasing contrast, as do the bronze lost wax cast brass beads from Kenya.
Citrine and smoky quartz necklace
This necklace was commissioned by a lady who saw another one worn by customer. Unfortunately I had too few of the beads from the original strand left and sent off for others. As the first strand had come back with me in my suitcase from Jaipur, I couldn't find the same ones, but the ones I did find are pretty too. The lady requested smoky quartz spacers instead of the iolite I used in the original necklace.
I sent a parcel to Australia last week with a courier and spent hours tracking the package all the way from Nuneaton to Victoria. The parcel was given a bar code which I had to print off and stick on the front - so why oh why can't the couriers scan the damn thing at every stage as it moves from place to place? Surely that's not too much to ask! I spent hours staring at my phone, waiting for the parcel to move - sometimes it didn't move at all for two days, and then whoosh, it had moved miles and miles.
I feel like someone who has spent a day watching a spin dryer, my brains are completely scrambled. Add to that mix an anxious customer and the levels of craziness rose exponentially until the parcel reached its destination safe and sound, it was opened, and the jewellery admired and worn. I wonder what would happen if I had a number of international parcels all going out at the same time - I'd probably have to be sectioned!
That's me for this week folks. We have tickets to the ballet - Sleeping Beauty, at the Hippodrome in Birmingham and were going up on the train to make a day of it. Have a wonderful week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for joining me today. Another very cold week has gone by and I've been up and down to Manchester to take part in interviews on behalf of Health Education England, thankfully on the right side of the table. It was mighty cold up there with the freezing air blowing off the Pennines, turning my breath into little icicles. Back home, I turned the heating up full volume and thawed my bones out by an open fire and turned my attention to my beads and baubles once I felt human again.
The interviews were held at the Etihad Stadium which is the home of Manchester City football club - the club is owned by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi who reputedly bought it for a mere £210 million. Well, what's 210 million to someone who owns a £400 million yacht!
Ornaments have been made from shells for aeons - conch shells come to a point at both ends and the inhabitants of these lovely shells are marine gastropod molluscs. The molluscs are used as food and fish bait, and can even produce pearls. I found slices of conch shells in a shop in Portobello market in London and thought that they were so pretty that I had to buy them. I've hoarded them for over four years now and decided to finally use one of them in a piece of jewellery. I wrapped the slice of conch shell in yards of wire and decided that it needed a rather special necklace to go with it. Shell beads are used in shamanistic rituals in tribes all over the world. I used beads in keeping with this notion and added Chinese bone, Nepalese coral, and African turquoise to the necklace in generous amounts, making it suitable for an international shaman.
Nefertari came into being when I wrapped a couple of citrine teardrop beads that had slightly misshapen points in wire to disguise the tips. I liked the effect so much that I wrapped all the beads I had in my stash as I watched television, and then had to find a way to use them in a necklace. I'm very fond of the teardrop shape and have made a number of necklaces in the past with colourful crystals, and I reused that template to make a two stranded piece, along with turquoise and sea sediment jasper. When finished the colours in the necklace reminded me of the bust of Nefertari in the Museum in Berlin - The bust of Nefertari was created around 1340 BC by the court sculptor Thutmoses. The limestone core has several layers of stucco on the crown and shoulders, and there are also small areas of stucco patching on the face. The necklace on the bust is coloured red, blue and gold, and must have been stupendously beautiful in its day.
I see this one worn with an evening dress, but also over the buttoned up collar of a plain shirt during the day - have you any other styling suggestions?
I've been active on Instagram recently, having been encouraged to do so by a friend and posted a picture of a copper bracelet I made a few years ago. A lady got in touch with me and asked me to make one for her - who says copper bracelets have to be boring? It's bad enough that one suffers with joint pain without having to add insult to injury by wearing ugly copper bracelets. This is what I came up with for her.
That's all I had time for, folks. I am working all weekend and I'm keeping everything crossed that it will remain quiet for me. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch up with you next Friday, same time, same place,
Hello folks, thank you for joining me again today. I've been a bit under the weather this week and have had to will myself to better health. The latter half of the week has been spent in Manchester at a meeting to do with the day job, that had to be attended as part of a long standing commitment.
I took delivery of a bunch of little silver pendants from a vendor in Indonesia and this time I went for bright colours and contemporary shapes. The pendants look lovely on their own, and I hope that any way I choose to string them will enhance them. I especially love the black pendant - it is pyrite in black magnetite and the stone at the bottom is a rough black tourmaline. I have no plans for any of them as yet, and that's part of the fun of it all - I never know what's going to emerge until it does.
The pendant is made from a stone called Rainbow Calsilica - it is a manmade stone, but nevertheless very pretty. It reminds me of Fordite which is basically layers of paint cut into slabs and cabochons. Rainbow Calsilica is bright and colourful and this pendant has a dragonfly hovering over it and is accented with peridot and garnets. The pendant has such a happy vibe that I thought it would be a complete shame to string it with a monochromatic necklace.
I borrowed a bit of style and penchant for colour from the Italians for inspiration and pulled out a bunch of colour enhanced jade teardrop beads. I've been people watching in quite a few Italian cities, and the women always look relaxed and elegant, as if they take ages to put themselves together. But, as I discovered when I met a couple of them, their secret is in the casual flinging on of a colourful accessory over a simple and well cut monochromatic outfit. There's always a splash of colour - a scarf, a necklace, a belt or coloured shoes. Describing Italian women, I have several thoughts in my mind - mainly 'easygoing sex appeal' and 'bombshell'. I have tried to put these thoughts into this piece of jewellery - I want it to shriek sunshine and Vespas, Roman Holiday and fruit trees in the summer. I was idly leafing through my pictures from a visit to Venice and these are some of the pictures that inspired the necklace I called Mambo Italiano
So here it is, Mambo Italiano in Burano colours........
I made this one a couple of weeks ago - it is of silvered blue glass and freshwater pearls - pretty, simple and easy to wear. It looks very pale in comparison to the one above - but hey! some people like bright and some like pale and interesting. Me? I'm a true Caprilicious woman - it depends on my mood, the lunar cycle, the weather, and whatever dictates my capricious little mind!
So as you're reading this, I am up in Manchester at the Safety Collaborative waiting to get back home to Mike and Wilfred. That's all I have for you this week, folks. I'll catch you next Friday, same place, same time, in the meanwhile, have a great week
Good morning, fabulous people, and thanks for dropping by today. I've spent the week making plans for my annual trip to India - I'm normally there around this time of year, but have delayed my holiday on this occasion to be present at my mother's 90th birthday. The original plan was to have a very fancy party and my mother was coyly accepting of it. 'Why do you need to waste money on an old woman' she simpered, until she realised she quite enjoyed a party and wouldn't have to do anything but turn up and look as good as her 90 years would allow. My only surviving sibling however, decided conveniently to take her at her word, and isn't prepared to join in and play ball, so that plan bit the dust, with mum retreating into a 'what's so special about 90, it's just another number' routine, to save face (I think).
We plan a scaled down celebration and hopefully if all goes well, the weather will be kind to me. I will be flying from chilly and cold, to swelteringly hot, and hopping from one air conditioned space to the next, turning into a massive sweatball between the two. It will certainly unclog the old pores and my hair will go frizzy in the humidity - oh well, it sure doesn't sound like I'm looking forward to it - and I'm not, weather wise. However, the rest of the trip should be fun.
This is a very simple necklace, but each of the elements in it are so beautiful that the piece in its entirety is alluring. Rainbow pearls and a large box clasp of a blister pearl when put together are blindingly beautiful and unsurprisingly, this necklace is already spoken for. Blister pearls are bumpy growths formed on the inside surface of a mollusc shell. They are hemispherical or irregular in shape and are cut out with the shell. They are grown intentionally by using a hemispheric nucleus, rather than a round one; and by implanting it against the oyster's shell, rather than within its tissue. The pearl then develops in a hemispheric form, with a flat back.
The necklace can be worn in three ways, with the clasp at the bottom, to one side, or at the back.
The Ottoman Necklace
This necklace looks like something straight out of a seraglio - this is the second one I've had on my website, and I just love the greens, the bling and the heft of the tassel. It is a faux lariat and drips luxury into the decollete' - a blissfully opulent evening necklace.
A Fabergé egg is a jeweled egg created by the House of Fabergé. They were manufactured under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé between 1885 and 1917. The most famous are those made for the Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers. Known as the Hens Egg, the very first Fabergé egg was crafted from a foundation of gold. Its opaque white enameled "shell" opened to reveal a matte yellow-gold yolk. This in turn opened to reveal a multicolored gold hen that contained a minute diamond replica of the imperial crown from which a small ruby pendant was suspended, but these last two elements were misplaced or lost..
I found a diamante egg shaped pendant on a website from the USA and was immediately reminded of the Faberge' creations. It hangs from the necklace of blue jade and baroque pearls by a removable bail which has a cunning clasp mechanism that enables you to take it off the necklace - although I cannot imagine why anyone would do that, and a tassel of blue jade beads dripping from it.
The Purple Cross Necklace
The purple cross is reserved for nobility, royalty and courageous animals - and now, one gorgeous and discerning Caprilicious woman. This one is made of titanium vapour coated druzy, set in sterling silver and accented with peridot. I hung it on a gothic necklace of dark blood red garnets and I can imagine it with a dark evening dress and maroon lipstick, and equally in the neckline of a simple shirt and leather jacket. The necklace is meant to sit close to the neck, almost like a choker. The green beads are Murano glass to match the peridot in the pendant.
I've been playing with soutache - the intention is to turn the piece into a butterfly flitting over some very exotic flowers - perhaps from a jungle in the Amazon. I am halfway through it and may have something to show you next week. Just now, it is unfinished and looks rather strange, and like a mother with an ugly infant I love it because it's my creation, but am not sure how it will look in its final avataar. Hopefully it will make more sense as time goes by and it gets over the 'awkward phase'.
That's all I have for you this week, folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, another week has gone by with storms lashing the UK and high winds of over 60mph. We had a bit of damage in our garden - a couple of large pots blew over and smashed to smithereens - I cannot imagine how that could have happened as one of them was planted with a large rhododendron bush and was weighed down with broken bricks and tiles at the bottom. That was one wild and wooly night! The trees were bent over double and the cat decided to cause a disturbance indoors by bringing in a live mouse at 2am - the mouse ran off (not quite up a clock as under a bed), so now we have the pleasure of sharing our accomodation with a mouse. It's a good thing I'm not squeamish, but still, I'm not sure how I'll react if the mouse runs out in front of me.
As you might have read last week, it was Mike's birthday last week, and we celebrated in London. His birthday presents had been ordered in December, but only turned up a week after his birthday, which was a shame. However, he loves them, so that made up for the disappointment on the day. I wrote in 2013, and it seems like yesterday, of a kitsch collection of animal figurines called Tom's Drag. We saw them on a trip to Berlin and we loved them so much I made a point of taking a picture of the logo by the side of the figurines so I could find them again.
Unfortunately Tom died in 2012, but his partner Arno Mueller still runs the company using Toms designs, and we are now the proud owners of three little cats, only two of which have arrived from Germany, the third to arrive in March.
I made a necklace of little citrine teardrops with iolite beads between them The citrine beads are gently faceted and appear like crystals made of unrefined sugar. I posted a picture on instagram and the necklace was picked up even before I gave it a name or had good pictures of it on file. I had to rush to get some photographs before I posted it out to its forever home with a little pair of earrings to match.
Hematite is the mineral form of iron oxide and has a striking metallic lustre, similar to polished gunmetal. The word hematite comes from the Greek work "haima" meaning blood, referring to the mineral's red color when in powdered form. When heated enough, hematite becomes a paramagnet, where the atomic magnets just randomly point all different directions, making it weakly magnetic. Hematite helps to absorb negative energy in times of stress or worry. I've had these beads for a while now, as well as the amethyst druzy pendant and suddenly they appeared in the same drawer of my bead stash and demanded to be put together. Whether this was by magic or serendipity, I shall never know, but I think they look good together. Purple and black can look a bit gothic, but not in this case as the amethyst pendant is a pale lilac. The colours in amethyst are also from iron ore so the two seem made for each other. The word Confluence means two streams meeting to become the source of a river of a new name, as did the iron ore in the two materials of this necklace.
That's me for this week folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you faring now that the craziness of Christmas and New Year's Eve is over? Clear heads all around, I hope! Our celebrations tend to go on for a little while longer than the 1st of January as hubby has a birthday in the second week and I am only just getting over the feeling of being constantly exhausted from organising food and drinks, and tickets, and events. Phew!!!
This birthday I treated Mike to a London theatre break - we went to see An American in Paris which suited both of us - we love jazz and Gershwin and I love the ballet - this show had both of these combined in a stupendous extravaganza. He was also treated to an evening at Ronnie Scott's in Soho where we had another fix of jazz. Shopping at Selfridges followed, where I found two pairs of boots in the sales the next day after a full English breakfast, and we were finally ready to get the train back to Warwickshire. We stayed at the Grosvenor House Hotel and I can't say much more than it was fantastic - we felt totally pampered.
We took some time out to visit Grenfell tower and the little shrine in front of the church. Three sad little fir trees stood outside the church, decorated with a wooden heart for each child that died in the fire. We met the vicar and put some money into the collection.
We'd seen Grenfell on the TV a number of times, but nothing prepared us for the eerie silence in the streets around it, as if it was a ghost town.
A number of windows carried 'Justice for Grenfell' banners and our hearts went out to the people who died or were bereaved there.
I bought a couple of strings of quartz teardrops from a vendor in Germany - one string is clear and the other a pale blue. The beads are gently faceted and shine in reflected light. They remind me of fat little raindrops on a wire or dripping from a blade of grass. I've had them a while and hadn't come up with any ideas, until it all seemed to fall into place this week.
I used tiny 2mm seed pearls to separate the quartz droplets - it amazes me how expensive these tiny pearls are relative to their size, but then, if you think about how difficult it must be to handle them and drill them, it seems understandable. Stringing them is difficult enough, it makes me shudder to think how hard it must be to make the central hole without crushing them.
It is indeed a very pretty necklace - and is winging its way to its forever home, as I type.
Thank you to all those who participated in the various promotions I set up for Caprilicious' birthday week. The earrings in the giveaway were won by Robyn Gilchrist from Shreveport, USA - can you contact me please with your full address so that I can mail them out.
There is a second pair of similar earrings left on the website on the Mixed Metals page, and the 10% discount promotion runs till the 15th of January. Do visit the shop to use the code if you fancy them or anything else.
That's all I have time for folks - have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Happy Birthday to yoo-ho-hoo, Happy Birthday to yoooo.....dear Caprilicious, Happy Birthday tooooo yooooo!
Better late than never, eh, readers? Caprilicious had a birthday in November and I was so busy with the day job, I quite forgot to celebrate.
Hello folks, how nice to see you again, and thank you for joining me. Storm Eleanor has wreaked havoc with my plans this week, we had gusts of wind upto 80 mph and it was cold and rainy, so although I had the week off neither of us felt like leaving the house so we spent time staying warm, with long lie -ins, cooking hearty stews in the slow cooker and staying up late watching movies into the wee hours.
So, let's celebrate Caprilicious' fifth birthday belatedly - I have a little give away for you - a pair of earrings from my Mixed Metals page. The earrings are textured, forged and antiqued rectangular copper panels, 2.6" long and very light, with a little turquoise bead dangling from them. Their ear wires are sterling silver and have been forged into rectangular shapes to suit the contemporary look of the earrings.
To enter the giveaway, please click the Network Blogs 'Follow The Caprilicious Jewellery Blog' link to the right of the blog title. For a second chance to win, share the blog from the Caprilicious Jewellery Facebook Page to yours. I will announce the winner in next Friday's blog post.
Storm Eleanor forced us indoors, so I played in my craft room for a couple of hours each day over the week.
I have long had a fascination with mythology - I spent long days at my grandmother's knee listening to tales about Gods and Goddesses, of whom there are many in India. As I grew older I read Greek and Roman mythology from books my grandfather bought me and ended up reading African and Afro Caribbean stories about Orishas and other spirits. An Orisha is a spirit who reflects one of the manifestations of the supreme divinity in the Yoruba religion. Orisha are said to have existed in the spiritual world, or lived as human beings in the planetary world. Others are said to be humans who are recognized as deities due to extraordinary feats. It is amazing how tales in various cultures repeat themselves, and there are loads of similarities between Indian and African stories.
This is my fourth iteration of Oshun, and each one has been different from the others. I make one of these necklaces a year as they take a while to find their forever home. They are looking for fearless, fun loving women who like to wear in-your-face jewellery that grabs attention instantly, and such ladies are not easy to find - yet, but I live in hope that they will beat a path to my door someday soon. My friend Bernadette gave me the first two Oshun pendants made from a dark wood, and I made the other two from polymer clay.
This necklace has multicolour lentil swirl beads that I made with a liberal sprinkling of gold foil and the beads look mysteriously 'cosmic', as if strewn with stardust.
When I made Oshun, I remained in what my husband calls the 'mumbo jumbo zone' and I also made a smaller pendant and coloured it with pale blue chalk, and put it in pale blue flowing headgear - I started off trying to make a fierce Tuareg warrior like face with tribal markings on its face, but by the time it was done and cured in the oven, I knew it was a sweet and gentle Orisha, no self respecting Tuareg would want to be associated with it!
I went looking for a name for her and as I sifted through the Orishas, her name had to be Yemoja - the name seemed to fit her like a glove. Yemoja is a major water deity from the Yoruba religion. She is the mother of all Orishas, having given birth to the 14 Yoruba gods and goddesses. Yemoja is motherly and strongly protective, and cares deeply for all her children, comforting them and cleansing them of sorrow. She is said to be able to cure infertility in women, and cowrie shells represent her wealth. She does not easily lose her temper, but when angered she can be quite destructive and violent.
Am I a believer? - well, that is an easy and resounding 'absolutely not'. However, I am enough of a romantic to enjoy stories of when Gods and Goddesses roamed the earth and walked amongst men, but that is what they are, just stories!
This one was completely at odds with the other two pieces - a little Bali silver dragonfly with a moonstone, aquamarine and amethyst in its body, on a necklace of flashy labradorite and pearls. I posted it on my social media sites and it was snapped up the very next day - as I type, it is winging its way to the lovely lady who fell in love with it and has given it a forever home.
I hope you all had a fabulous New Year's Eve celebration. Mine consisted of watching Jools Holland's Hootenanny on the telly and drinking non alcoholic champagne at midnight as I was on call - it could have been worse, I could have been called out, so I should be thankful for small mercies. We have a bit of a blowout planned in London shortly as Mike has a birthday coming up, so that will have to be a deferred welcome to the New Year.
Have a good week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and are getting over the effects of all the overindulgences of the season. I'm terrified to get on the scales as I've done my share of overeating, and will wait till a couple of weeks have gone by before I check the damage that the ingestion of more calories than I do for the rest of the year has caused. I'm just praying my body went into shock and refused to accept any of those rogue calories, but sadly, we all know it doesn't work like that.
It will soon be 2018 - where did 2017 vanish??? - it seemed to fly by in a flash. Caprilicious quietly turned 5 in November, I usually mark the event with a giveaway but didn't have the time this year, so will be organising something in early January. I will announce it on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled for it.
This was our house on Christmas day - we had a guest to lunch and once we had eaten, I went off to the nearby church as promised, to help with their Christmas lunch for the homeless of the borough. I quite enjoyed it, there was a tremendous camaraderie and lots of laughter. There are various reasons why people become homeless and it was sad to see so many in the UK, which is allegedly the 5th richest nation in the world. When I got back, both my men were fast asleep and I joined them for a post prandial nap before sitting down to the rubbish that the TV programmers seem to think we'd be keen to watch on the box at Christmas.
I had loads of time to relax over the holidays, and on one of those days, decided to make some polymer clay buttons for a friend. She has made herself a black tunic and wanted seven fairly large black buttons to sew onto it. I made reversible buttons - one side has a mica shift self pattern, and the other was covered with a veneer of crackled silver foil on a black background. I figured that as the instructions were so vague, I'd give her the choice of two ways to use them.
I made the first side, sanded and polished it, before I put crackled silver veneer on the back, and it was so hypnotic, sanding away in a circular movement with a bowl of soapy water in my lap - I was in danger of falling asleep.
Santa brought me a lovely Butler and Wilson brooch - I love shiny stuff, and it suited the dress I was wearing, so it went on immediately.
Some faux amber beads I'd made earlier had been calling for attention for ages - I couldn't bear their piteous cries for help any more and decided to set them free. I made a simple but effective necklace - I have no name for it yet, but I'm sure one will occur to me fairly soon. I wore it to work the next day.
The weather has taken a turn for the worse and I'm working all weekend. I just hope it stays quiet for me.
That's all I had time for this week folks. Have a good week and I'll catch you in the New Year, same time, same place.
Until then, Happy New Year to all of you
Hello amazing readers, we've made it to the end of 2018 and it's the most wonderful time of the year - allegedly! This applies to those who are warm and well fed, sheltered and with their friends and family. However, the plight of the homeless has been raised over and over again this year, more than any December I've ever known and I've decided to help out in the local soup kitchen on Christmas Day once I've served our meal. I've never done this before and am a bit anxious about it as I don't know what to expect. We have friends to eat with us, and then I will go out and help the efforts of the good people in the nearby church.
I've had a bit of a rest from beads although my fingers have been itching to make up the ideas that have been jumping into my head. I gave my juniors doctors the suncatchers I made earlier and they all said they loved their gifts.
My fingers were aching with withdrawal symptoms so I eventually gave in and made a wire butterfly suncatcher for one of the ladies at work.
Have a wonderful Christmas folks. This is the very first year I've had both Christmas and Boxing Day off in ages - however, as penance I'm having to work all of the New Year's Eve weekend. I'll leave you with this clip from a Christmas special from Mrs Brown's Boys - and for those of you who haven't seen this show before, the main protagonist is a man in a dress, just in case these things have to be spelled out to you. I find this show quite funny, and Michael despairs of my sense of humour - ah, well, I do have some faults, one can't always be perfect (she says, shining her halo!).
Take care folks, and have a lovely day. I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello folks, how are you on this cold and frosty morning? It snowed for twenty four hours here in the UK, and the country came to a standstill. Roads were closed, airports and train tracks were backlogged with travel chaos and schools shut down leaving parents in the lurch, looking for emergency childcare. At the hospital, half the staff and patients didn't manage to make their way in. The snow fell over the weekend, but the temperatures have been so low that we still have snow drifts five days on, although a lot of it has melted. I am more anxious about the ice that forms on the roads and pavements when the thawing snow freezes over at night - you can imagine that it is hazardous to drive, and walk.
However, it looks pretty when the snow is pristine, and I busied myself over the weekend taking loads of pictures.
We knew that snow was on it's way, so I quickly put my Christmas tree up and decorated it - the tree is usually set up in the porch, which can get pretty cold when the temperature falls severely as it relies on the light of the sun to keep it warm. As you can imagine, it is pretty warm in the porch most of the year as our geraniums do well overwintering there, as do the ferns - all that green stuff you see in the picture is real. I love the silver baubles I got from the Christmas shop, which predictably is open all year around to serve the tourist trade in Prague, when we went there about ten years ago. I wrap each one in tissue paper and put it away almost reverently when we are done with the season and this strategy has served me well as they have lasted out over ten Christmases.
Four days down the line, our street is still covered with snow and ice and I'm being driven into work as my little car is totally unsuitable for this weather. It still looks pretty, doesn't it, in spite of the tyre treads that have messed the road up. They should make it illegal for people to muss up the snow and make it less picturesque.
It looked like a complete white out in front of our house, and the back garden was no better. So there wasn't much else to do but stay warm, and play with beads and post on Instagram, where I've been testing out hashtags and trying to improve my visibility.
I bought a bunch of tiny crystal beads a while ago, at the same time as the floral micro pave clasp. One of my customers liked the look of the crystals so much, she asked me to make a necklace up for her using the floral clasp. The beads are tiny, no more than 3mm in diameter and they resemble little sugar crystals that have been artificially coloured. I made an ombre necklace which she loved and I posted it out to her well before the last day for Christmas post approached - the last day for the post, in case you don't remember it is the 20th of December after which you'll have to go out in the cold and do your own shopping. I didn't get a chance to take a picture on a model, all I have are a quick couple of photographs shot using my phone, so many apologies for picture quality. Perhaps the lady will send us pictures wearing the necklace, and I can share them with you later on.
That's all I made this week folks, these beads were so tiny that I almost went blind trying to string them. They were pretty badly behaved as well and kept jumping out of my hands and scattering all over the floor making the cat leap out of his skin everytime he heard the skittering of a bead across the parquet floor. As they were pretty expensive, I made sure I picked the beads up and put them into the necklace - not a single one escaped its fate!
That's me for this week, folks. I am going to be wrapping presents and writing cards out this weekend. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.